The domestic opportunity structure and supranational activity: An explanation of environmental group activity at the European union level

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This study examines when and why environmental non-governmental organizations in the United Kingdom, France and Germany bypass national-level activity in favor of supranational action. Data are gathered from a content analysis of news wires and analyzed in a series of logistic equations. Evidence supports the multi-level governance theory of European Union integration. Examining political opportunity structure explanations for activity, I find that changes in domestic elite alliances and electoral cleavages help to explain why groups choose to target activity at the supranational level. When the domestic opportunity structure is closed, supranational activity becomes more likely. The opening of the domestic political opportunity structure decreases supranational activity among groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-558
Number of pages28
JournalEuropean Union Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008



  • Environmental groups
  • European Union
  • Multi-level governance
  • Opportunity structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Demography
  • Political Science and International Relations

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